Category Archives: Cats

Le Chat (The Cat) by Charles Baudelaire

Little Ophelia with a skull.

 

 

The Cat

Come, my fine cat, against my loving heart;
Sheathe your sharp claws, and settle.
And let my eyes into your pupils dart
Where agate sparks with metal.

Now while my fingertips caress at leisure
Your head and wiry curves,
And that my hand’s elated with the pleasure
Of your electric nerves,

I think about my woman — how her glances
Like yours, dear beast, deep-down
And cold, can cut and wound one as with lances;

Then, too, she has that vagrant
And subtle air of danger that makes fragrant
Her body, lithe and brown.

— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)

 

And in French:

Le Chat

Viens, mon beau chat, sur mon coeur amoureux;
Retiens les griffes de ta patte,
Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux,
Mêlés de métal et d’agate.

Lorsque mes doigts caressent à loisir
Ta tête et ton dos élastique,
Et que ma main s’enivre du plaisir
De palper ton corps électrique,

Je vois ma femme en esprit. Son regard,
Comme le tien, aimable bête
Profond et froid, coupe et fend comme un dard,

Et, des pieds jusques à la tête,
Un air subtil, un dangereux parfum
Nagent autour de son corps brun.

— Charles Baudelaire

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Fun with words Friday! Ennui

ennui: noun

a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom.

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Cat Map – Cats in Libraries

Cats and books (and book lovers!) have always just… gone together.  How many times have you read a book with a cat nestled on your lap? Or your chest? Or, more likely, on the book?  Kitties are the perfect reading companions – most definitely in the winter – and seem to even regularly find themselves in small bookshops and local libraries.

If, like me, you’re fascinated by these cats and love following them around the shop just as much as you enjoy browsing the merchandise, you might like to know WHERE you can find these cats.  Iron Frog Productions has a website dedicated entirely to showing you where these cats are (and have been historically) around the world in their Library Cats Map!

The map is easy to browse by country and state (for those of us here in the US).  Check it out and see if there are any near you!

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Fun with words Friday! Ailurophile

As an ailurophile, I would love to have THIS kindle in my house!

ailurophile – noun

  1. a person who likes cats; a cat fancier

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Cute Christmas cat photo

 

 

That is all.

 

 

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Cat poems by T.S. Eliot

I love cats.  This has been established.  When I saw that T.S. Eliot had a book of poetry entirely dedicated to cats (with Edward Gorey images to boot), I lost my little mind.  So, here are some cat poems by T.S. Eliot to enjoy on a beautiful Sunday!

The Naming of Cats

The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey–
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter–
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover–
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

The Old Gumbie Cat

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her coat is of the tabby kind, with tiger stripes and leopard spots.
All day she sits upon the stair or on the steps or on the mat;
She sits and sits and sits and sits–and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.
And when all the family’s in bed and asleep,
She tucks up her skirts to the basement to creep.
She is deeply concerned with the ways of the mice
Their behaviour’s not good and their manners not nice;
So when she has got them lined up on the matting,
She teachs them music, crocheting and tatting.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
Her equal would be hard to find, she likes the warm and sunny spots.
All day she sits beside the hearth or on the bed or on my hat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits–and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.
As she finds that the mice will not ever keep quiet,
She is sure it is due to irregular diet;
And believing that nothing is done without trying,
She sets right to work with her baking and frying.
She makes them a mouse–cake of bread and dried peas,
And a beautiful fry of lean bacon and cheese.

I have a Gumbie Cat in mind, her name is Jennyanydots;
The curtain-cord she likes to wind, and tie it into sailor-knots.
She sits upon the window-sill, or anything that’s smooth and flat:
She sits and sits and sits and sits–and that’s what makes a Gumbie Cat!

But when the day’s hustle and bustle is done,
Then the Gumbie Cat’s work is but hardly begun.
She thinks that the cockroaches just need employment
To prevent them from idle and wanton destroyment.
So she’s formed, from that lot of disorderly louts,
A troop of well-disciplined helpful boy-scouts,
With a purpose in life and a good deed to do
And she’s even created a Beetles’ Tattoo.

So for Old Gumbie Cats let us now give three cheers
On whom well-ordered households depend, it appears.

And, finally, Macavity: The Mystery Cat – this isn’t read BY T.S. Eliot, but it’s highly entertaining:


Buy Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats on Amazon.

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KittyCassandra’s Cat Paintings

I mentioned that I love cats, correct?  I believe that I have, but, just in case… I really love cats.  With this in mind, you can only imagine my excitement when I discovered that there is a woman who paints adorable, wonderful pictures of cats that truly capture their individual personalities.  I first became aware of her – Cassie Graus aka KittyCassandra – thanks to Cats 101 on Animal Planet.  Yes, I watch cat shows.  I told you…. I really love cats.

So, my KittyCassandra exposure started all thanks to this Cats 101 episode appearance:

And then I quickly tracked down her fan page on Facebook and giggling, squealing, and downright delighting over all of her pictures.  The most amazing aspect of her paintings, in my opinion, is how each painting is unique to a specific cat’s personality.  So, naturally, my favorite game for a while was how would I want each of our cats portrayed in a KittyCassandra painting?  Some of my ideas included Dex the Romantigoth, Dex as a pirate, something with Lilu involving copious amount of food, sleeping, and/or water, and, the idea that actually came to fruition…. Ophelia, my little Caramel Sundae Cat:

According to Nate, who commissioned this piece as a birthday present for me, she was very excited about the idea and she was very wonderful to work with.  The end result, as you can see, is everything that my little heart could want in a painting of Ophelia.

KittyCassandra provides the world with something that it needs more of – cuteness, hilarity, and paintings brimming with joy.  So, please visit any of the links below and enjoy!

KittyCassandra’s Cat Paintings Website
KittyCassandra’s Facebook Page

KittyCassandra’s ShanaLogic.com Store

AND she has a book, Templeton & Caruthers and the Snack Finding Mission!  You can find a copy on Amazon.

Kitties + Snacks = CUTE!


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Filed under Art, Books, Cats, KittyCassandra, Non Sequitur Thursday

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

 

 

 


Title:  Life of Pi
Author:  Yann Martel
Length:  319 pages
Copyright:  September, 2001
Rating:  LOVED IT!!  Instant favorite.

I’m ten years late in reading this book, I know.  I bought this book while employed at Waldenbooks.  I purchased it solely to be able to have some knowledge of what was hot at the time, but my interest piqued when I discovered that the main characters is a practitioner of all religions simply because he just loved God.  I started this book on a Saturday and completely devoured it by Monday.  Devoured.  Like a tiger.

This book sucks you in from the first sentence – This book was born as I was hungry.  Throughout the book, there are countless gems of sentences, paragraphs, and entire chapters.  No matter how outrageous a scene becomes, it is incredibly easy to simply accept it as truth.  Pi Patel is one of the most lovable characters that I have met in fiction and, at times, I kept on reading even if only to not leave him completely alone in the telling of the incredible events that he survived during 227 days at sea.  In a small life boat.  With a Bengal Tiger.

The purpose of my blog is neither for me to sit here and expound grand philosophical or religious ideas nor is it for me to critique a novel in-depth, so I won’t travel down that road.  However, I will say, that this it the first novel in a long time that I cannot get out of my head.  I keep mulling over themes, allegories, and what my answers would be to all of the “Reading Group Guide” questions in the back of the novel.

This novel is special and one that will stick with me, quite easily, for the rest of my life. I was sad to come to the final sentence, to close the book, and to have say good-bye to Pi.  It very rarely happens that I actually, physically, miss the characters once a story is complete.  And this is one of those books.

I highly, highly recommend.
But this book on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Life-Pi-Yann-Martel/dp/0156027321/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315353102&sr=8-1

 

 

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Cats, the perfect reading companions

This week’s non sequitur Thursday post isn’t as off-topic as last weeks, but I definitely needed to set aside some time right now to proclaim my undying love for all things feline.  If my Puss in Boots entry didn’t make it clear that I have the fever for kitties, hopefully I will leave no doubt in your mind after today.

If you asked a five year-old Megan what her favorite animal was, she would, without hesitation, tell you that she loves cats.  Growing up, we always had pets.  My parents were more into dogs than cats, but we had an outdoor cat when I was really young and our neighbors had cats that kept churning out little babies every few months.  So, I was always surrounded by cats.  And I loved it.

Their presence meant so much to me that when our black cat, who I named Elvis (though, I didn’t know how to spell Elvis, so he was.. Alvis), scratched me, I didn’t cry because the scratch hurt, but because I was convinced that he hated me.  To suffer being the recipient of a cat’s disdain was too much for me to bear.  After a lot of consolation from my mother, however, I resigned myself to the fact that I was just a little confused.  I was young, after all.

Fast forward to the present.  My husband and I have three cats – Dex, Lilu, and Ophelia.  Dex and Lilu belonged to my husband long before we met and little Ophelia was my first pet as an adult after moving out of my parents house.

AN ASIDE:  YES, I always choose pretentious names for my pets.  More examples – I have named another kitten Hamlet, a rabbit Laertes, and a leopard gecko Persephone.  I apparently have a lot to prove.

Out of these three cats, Lilu is the best reading companion.  Why?  Well, she’s chubby, warm, and lazy.  There’s nothing she loves more than having her humans plop down on the couch.  In the summer, it can get a little uncomfortable, but the winter?  That’s an entirely different story.  As a little chub-monster, she generates quite a bit of heat and is drawn to soft, fuzzy blankets.  Some of my fondest memories from last winter are of me on the couch, under a blanket, Lilu sprawled across my lap while I read Native Son.  What better way is there to spend a weekend?  I can’t think of any.

In celebration of little Lilu and her love of cuddles, feast your eyes upon her cuteness:

Lilu and her teddy bear

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A Classic Favorite: Puss in Boots

Last weekend while my husband and I were at the movies, we were fortunate enough to catch a preview for the new Puss in Boots movie that is coming out this fall.  I’ll admit it – I squealed. I clapped.  I was thoroughly delighted, just like when the character was first introduced into the Shrek films.  This may or may not have been embarrassing for my husband, but what you need to know, and what he already is well aware of, to understand my reaction is quite simple:

  1. I love cats.
  2. As a young girl, loving both cats and books equally, Puss in Boots was one of my favorite fairy tales.
  3. I love cats.  And books.

Given all of the above, how can I not be unabashedly enthusiastic about this upcoming release?  My one hope is that people seek out the tale and gain an appreciation for the tale that existed long before Antonio Banderas gave his voice over to an adorable animated, orange cat.  What is best about this cat, and perhaps I’m taking this all a little too far, is that the cat (Puss) possesses and displays great loyalty to his human companion.  Little Puss, the booted cat, uses his feline cunning to acquire all of the things that a young lad in 17th century France could ever want – wealth, respect, and love.

I’m positive that I don’t have to share too many details about the film (but please enjoy the trailer below!), but here are the details on the book, which is definitely worth checking out, no matter what your age and even if you’re not nearly as fond of cats as I am.

Title:  Puss in Boots
Author:  Charles Perrault
Amazon.com link to my favorite version:  http://www.amazon.com/Puss-Boots-Caldecott-Honor-Book/dp/0374361606 

Official Dreamworks Trailer (prepare for adorable OVERLOAD):

Photo Source:  Édition Curmer (1843) – Le Chat botté, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Édition_Curmer_(1843)_-_Le_Chat_botté_-_1.png 

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Filed under Books, Cats, Children's Books, Favorites, Movies/Books